Travel Log 1: “Laying a Foundation” by Madeline Eldredge, Harwich MA

What emotionally struck me from the workshop was the comparison of The Wizard of Oz to the Rites of Passage and the ideas that were incorporated within the Rites of Passage. The Wizard of Oz is a movie about a young girl, Dorothy, who becomes separated from her familiar surroundings, is temporarily brought to a new place where she explores, and then is transformed into a better person from her experiences. I think that providing such a concrete and understandable example that we can all relate to on different levels was important. Also, hopefully all of us have seen this movie about a million times so the example makes legitimate sense. Ultimately, I made a distinct connection with the Rites of Passage (separation, liminality, and reincorporation). From the day that I applied to this program, I knew that I was going to have a hard time adjusting regardless of the encouragement that my close friends and family were shoving down my throat. I think leaving home for 4 months will test my independence because usually, I am an extremely independent and self-sufficient person but I have never lived in another country for 4 months and that creates some sort of dependency on the locals and my roommates.

A quote from the introduction of Becoming World Wise that really stuck out to me pertaining to the Rites of Passage is, “It seems to take up-close-and-personal encounters with those of other social worlds to instruct us about our common humanity and our deepest differences, all the while inducing us to live beyond narrow identities and allegiances” (Slimbach 6). This quote speaks to me because he is talking about opening up and letting other cultures and ideas into our lives to properly affect us in order to really experience studying abroad. We need to separate ourselves from what we are familiar with and all of our insecurities in order to really experience the culture and day-to-day activities of the Irish locals and then eventually go back home to America as a reinvented person. As humans, I think we tend to live so narrow-mindedly that we don’t understand that the world is really a huge place and because we don’t understand certain cultures or their ideas, it’s “strange” or “weird.” Going off of this idea is another quote, “Instead of indulging a sentimental longing for an irrecoverable past, we should treat the complexity of our contemporary situation as offering a “teachable moment” that is truly extraordinary” (Slimbach 4). This is my favorite quote in the book so far. When we decide to let go in the liminality phase, we can learn so much about the culture that we are living in along with learning more about ourselves. Instead of thinking about what’s going on back at home and the separation phase we should be disengaging from any insecurity we hold, explore the country and learn a lot along the way.

The book I chose to read as my travelogue is McCarthy’s Bar by Pete McCarthy. I chose this book not only because it was mentionedIMG_5434 in the syllabus but upon further research on this book, I liked how the author incorporates different travel rules within the chapters. The main rule he continuously states is “Never pass a barwith your name on it.” Although I am not Irish in the least bit, I can appreciate McCarthy’s travel rules and have decided to create some of my own as the time goes on.

The book I chose to read as my travelogue is McCarthy’s Bar by Pete McCarthy. I chose this book not only because it was mentioned in the syllabus but upon further research othis book, I liked how the author incorporates different travel rules within the chapters. The main rule he continuously states is “Never pass a bar with your name on it.” Although I am not Irish in the least bit, I can appreciate McCarthy’s travel rules and have decided to create some of my own as the time goes on.

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